Eagles ready to hit opposing team

By: Matt Long
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After two weeks of practicing with pads, Vista del Lago’s varsity football team is ready to hit someone wearing a uniform of a different color. That opportunity will happen twice this week, as the Eagles participate in their two scrimmages, the first Thursday at Cosumnes River College against Franklin and the second at noon Saturday at Vista against Florin. The Eagles are coming off their first full week of practice in pads, a week, in which, a lot was accomplished. “Our goal last week was to get us further along in our comfort zone in our gear,” coach Chris Jones said. “We also wanted to get into a routine and we did that.” For starters, the team practiced in the evening on Tuesday, which is something they will do for the remainder of the season. The week ended with team pictures on Friday, but there was a lot more than photography going on. “We had what we call buddy night, where we had a varsity, junior varsity and freshman player get together with a midget, junior midget, peewee and junior peewee player from our youth program,” Jones said. “It was an opportunity for the guys to sit around and talk football and get to know one another. It went well and just helps our program overall.” This week it’s back to some serious practice leading up to the scrimmages, which take on big importance as the Eagles’ first game is a week from Friday. “Monday and Tuesday are big practices, as we prepare to play extended minutes,” Jones said. “Instead of just playing segments of six to 10 plays, we’re going to push forward to playing quarters and halves.” The Eagles will be playing their scrimmages much like games, which include special teams play, and not just offense and defense. The biggest part of the scrimmages, according to Jones, will be what the coaching staff learns from their opponents. Even though the Eagles won’t play Franklin or Florin during the regular season or playoffs, they both run schemes that Vista will see during the season. “Franklin runs the shotgun spread and we will face a little bit of that during the season, and defensively, they run a 4-4 scheme and we’ll see a little of that,” Jones said. "Florin runs the option on offense and we’ll see that against Napa and defensively, the run an odd front and that’s similar to what Oak Ridge and Christian Brothers do.” Jones said that while gaining the repetition of play-after-play under their belts is important, learning what other teams do against them on both offense and defense is more important.